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volunteers to work overtime due to our low staffing, that there will be hold overs for our uniformed members. >> okay. supervisor breed. >> thank you. thank you, chief. just, colleagues, i wanted to mention that it had been 10 years since any hiring was done in the department until last year when new recruits came through a class. i know this year i think we're scheduled to have two classes graduate. but it's clear that we are not bringing in enough firefighters to deal with the needs of the city as a whole. and i think an additional, at least one additional class this fiscal year would be something that could really help, although it won't solve the problem. but i do know this is a real major problem in the department and i think that additional class costs about 1.5 or 1.2, somewhere -- >> right around that.
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>> and, so, i just -- a someone who served on the fire commission in the past, people look at overtime as being -- well, the firefighters are making a lot of money in overtime. but the reality is in many cases, many of these firefighters don't want to do this overtime work. they're required because of minimum staffing requirements of the department. and i think that when we look at our capacity and what we need, we need to take a hard look at long-term planning for the department so that we are staffing up the department in appropriate levels. and, so, i just wanted to mention that because this is a real major issue and is creating some problems for the department, i'm sure, in terms of some people who are taking off and maybe using sick time because they might be exhausted and can't do the mandatory staffing. i mean, there's been a whole host of issues and i know the chief has been working really hard to deal with this issue,
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but it is a serious issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later. i just wanted to make sure i mentioned that. >> thank you. let me adi appreciate supervisor breed's comments. she is very well aware of the operational issues and some of the fatigue issues the mandatory overtime creates ~ not to mention family issues. oftentimes we have firefighters that are married and have children. and when you have a mandatory and you have a planned day off, but you're mandated to stay at work, it does create some difficulty. so, we appreciate that. we also appreciate the work of the mayor's office and mayor ed lee to commit to hiring classes to begin restoring some of our staffing levels. we did typically and we did with a lot of knowledge go to a higher overtime model. but at this point our staffing is such that it is creating way too much mandatory overtime. and, so, we look forward to having these classes come in every year. we started with the class that entered in august, graduated in december.
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but our goal is that if there is anyway we can somehow accelerate the hiring as suggested by supervisor breed, that would do -- go a long ways in i think the morale of the department as well as operationally not holding people over for mandatory overtime. >> and, chief, i think it's important to highlight for the public because i think we do have a lot of overtime issues in the city in many very many departments. i've certainly been a hawk on it the last two years and will continue to be. the mandatory overtime is a different thing when people are forced to do it. and oftentimes people get a bad rap for taking overtime. sometimes it's reasonable other times when it's mandatory overtime that's a completely different ball game. i agree with you it affects families and we have to take a look at that long time as supervisor breed mentioned. supervisor had a question. >> thank you. [speaker not understood] improve the overtime protocols. you mentioned a hard cap on
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individual overtime. what are some of the examples of how you're trying to control the overtime expenses? >> okay. and i know next week sub poed to be this week. next week i'll be prepared to give you a full comprehensive overview of that. but in a nutshell, one of the thing we've worked with with the department of human resources, director mickey callahan, as you know, there was an ordinance of an overtime cap that use to be 30% dropped to 25% which means in our department, because the uniform members work in excess of 0 40 hours a week, they work 48, 7, that cap went from [speaker not understood] for fiscal year. what we were seeing again because of our low staffing levels was we had some exceptions that were granted by the director, but we have some people that are double that amount of overtime. and they do meet the criteria that was granted in the exemption from director callahan. but just this year we decided to work together.
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we presented it to local 798 and collectively dhr administration and labor agreed to a hard cap of 1100 hours which is still in my mind way too many, but it begins to not reduce our overall overtime, but it sort of distributes it more evenly across the department. but what that also does is potentially it has the ability to, once again, increase the mandatory overtime. so, next week when we talk about -- we'll be coming before you and technically it's called for supplemental request, we don't like supplemental because we're not asking for additional funding. we're basically asking because of the overtime legislation that was passed in 2011. we're going to ask for a reallocation within our own budget. so, we have to have 4.1 million from salary to fringe to cover that overtime. i'm happy to cover that policy for you and present next week. >> thank you. >> supervisor breed. >> chief, i just want to put something in context.
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i think there were over 80 retirees last year, and he we brought in 40 -- the new number is, what, 48 recruits this year. ~ and maybe you can bring these numbers with you the next time, but we are definitely -- people are retiring at higher rates, but we're not bringing in enough people to staff up the department as a whole. and, so, i think this is more of an urgent issue than we think being in it and seeing it and experiencing or talking to many of the firefighters about their experience. i mean, they're happy to do the work. they're happy to be a part of the department. but it's clear this is a serious issue. and i think we need to take action more immediately to bring in enough classes to begin to restaff up the department and maybe next week, chief, you can bring us the numbers so we can get a clearer
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understanding of what's happened over the past 10 years based on the number of retirees, the numbers as it relates to the department in term of when we're bringing in recruits. and last thing that i want to mention is the institutional knowledge that comes with people who have been a part of the department for many, many years. i mean, i would prefer that they have an opportunity to work with folk who have been with the department. new recruits have the ability to have that relationship over the years in order to adjust and understand, really, the do's and don'ts. this is a challenging job as we know and i just want to make sure that we're looking at a long height and bulk term solution to a problem that now is getting or has gotten completely out of control and we are addressing it appropriately fort meade needs, but also the future needs of the department. >> thank you. if i could just comment on that. you are absolutely right.
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we were experiencing retirements in the range from 60 to 80 nearly every fiscal year for the last several fiscal years. there is a bit of good news in that between the years of 1982 to 1987, the department did no hiring. and, so, we are seeing a bit of a deceleration of retirement. nevertheless, we have a lot of catching up to do, to your point, supervisor breed. and obviously the more we bring staff in, the less we'll have to rely on mandatory overtime. if i could just put up on the screen here the historical uniform fte count which shows -- just a minute to come up here. and i can have it for you next week, but basically from fiscal year '02-'03 we had a little over 1800 uniformed members to present day 1400. we're down from 400. i'm not saying that we need to
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have 1800, but because there is sort of that sweet spot with the overtime, but certainly we need more than 1400. and i can pass these out for you. i don't know if you're not able to see this, but i can get this to you. so, moving on in the presentation, i wanted to take a moment to touch on some of the major budget changes in the next two fiscal years as compared to the current year. first is a continuation as we talked about of the mayor's hiring plan with an additional academy of entry level for the [speaker not understood] in each of the two fiscal years. if we can accelerate and get another class in in addition to those, that would be helpful. the second is the restoration of the department's exclusive operating area rights for 911 ambulance here in the city. as you know for the past four years, the ambulance system in san francisco has been in a state of flux due to a decision by the state in 2008 to remove our exclusivity rights as the
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primary provider of 911 services. what this did was open up the system and the department's market share decreased as more and more private ambulances entered the system. this presented numerous issues both from a financial as well as operational perspective. in january of last year, fortunately the state reversed its position and the department's rights were restored. and later i'll talk briefly about the ramifications of what that means to the department. thirdly, the passing of recent state legislation outlining a program to secure additional federal reimbursement for medi-cal patients and their transports has had a real positive impact and potential to have a positive impact for our department revenues. although we haven't seen the funding yet, the department is projecting additional revenues as a result of this program. in the fall of 2014, another thing that i wanted to bring up that is important, tomorrow is a special day at that site with the mayor and maybe many of you and chief suhr, we will be bringing online in 2014 station
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4 which will be housed in a public safety building that's well deserved and needed by the san francisco police department. it's located in mission bay close to the ballpark and as you know there's a lot of growth in that area. tomorrow we will be participating in a topping out ceremony where the final field will be placed. this is a new station, it's an additional station which would include nine new members working per day out of this station. and that's something that we're continuing to discuss with mayor's budget office to bring on additional staffing for that station. we talked a little about the eoa exclusive operating area and the rights. as you stated back in 2008, the state of california made a decision to remove the eoa rights to the 911 ambulance transports here in the city. this basically threw everything into a period of uncertainty, including our budgets and how we staffed. as there were no formal guidelines or procedures for the system as a whole and no
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provider agreements in between the providers. ~ we found ourselves in the ems division in a bit of a holding pattern during this time, unsure of what the future held for the system. we saw our market share of transports go from about 90% down to 70% and the private increased to that amount. and again, that's one of our main -- one of two ways the department earns revenue. so, fiscally as well as operationally, it was difficult for us. so, we were very delighted that in january of last year the state sort of very -- we worked really hard with the department of emergency management folk, city attorney's office, local 798 to get those exclusivity rights back which was huge for the city. but what it means is that the department must go back to at least the 80% share of the market for transports to be in that exclusive operating area and that language. so, we find ourselves in a position now we're at about 70% and we need to get up to at
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least 80%. that would take some time. it's going to require some investments including equipment, apparatus, and personnel. so, we're working again closely with the mayor's budget office with our department of management who oversees as the local ems agency that program, and that provision. so, we also are looking forward to which is the next slide talks about, the medi-cal reimbursement because we feel that this is part of the solution to what we need to do in term of ramping up services and staffing. so, related to this slide, in 2012 an assembly bill passed in the state legislature, it outlined plans for a program to take advantage of federal funding to supplement revenues that we received by governmental agencies for providing ambulance transports to i medi-cal patients. ~ 2011 [speaker not understood]. this program essentially brings the level of reimbursement up
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to the federal medicare levels. so, it meant about another 300 to 350 per transport. you're talking about thousands of transports per year, it's a lot of money for us. the program is set to be retroactive for transports that occurred back to january of 2010 and it is anticipated that the program will result in additional revenue for the department. the extent of which is still being negotiated at both the state and federal level. the department most likely will request to reinvest this revenue back to the ems division to assist with getting back to the staffing levels and getting back to the 80% market share to be able to be in compliance with the exclusive operating area. a couple more slides. i know [speaker not understood] are waiting right behind me very patiently. the budget reductions we wanted to be responsive to mayor lee's budget reductions. this is the 10th budget that i have prepared for the department in conjunction with the staff that is here today.
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and at the gining of my remarks, i was remiss in acknowledging mr. mark corso in particular, tallest man in the room even with supervisor wiener here, possibly, possibly not. we'll check that out later. but he's my cfo and does a phenomenal job in getting everything prepared. i'm also joined by homeland security deputy chief carl merkins, [speaker not understood] and ray guzman. just like when we go out and respond to the 911 calls it's a lot of teamwork that takes place. so, thank you to all those gentlemen that assisted with this process. mayor lee's office this time did continue to ask for a reduction -- a reduction has been asked in all 10 budgets that i prepared thev fortunately it's difficult, but less than in previous years as many of you know. ~ our target reduction is 1-1/2%, just under a million dollars, and that is based on the proposition f minimum staffing. so, that's like just under $100
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million. and, so, this slide basically is to show the line item adjustments that we presented to meet this reduction. we've seen an increased activity for the good part of the [speaker not understood] our bureau fire prevention as you see so many claim in the ground, lots of building, lots of ribbon cuttings, all of those projects need to be vetted through our bureau of fire prevention, our permits division. so, as a result, we have seen as the economy increases, the revenue coming back to our bureau of fire prevention. however, we are -- because of the work load returning to the bureau, we are requesting additional personnel resources consisting of inspectors being assigned to the bureau to handle that increased work load. the net result of the new anticipated revenues and rotv is counted towards the department's target reduction. the new eoa i talked about, exclusive operating area, will result in a changing ambulance system structure for the department.
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the department's increase in call volume has already been incorporated into the department's budget. the system as a whole has seen increases in call volume over the past few years and we anticipate we will continue to see this in the next year, resulting in increased revenue. and then again also with the recovery from the emergency medical transport tax or reimbursement. for expenditure reductions, we are reducing our materials and supplies budget in attempt to meet the target. additional attrition saving from the lower staffing levels seen currently also account for sometimev savings and we are continuing to work with the mayor's office for the 14-15 target reduction. as there are a number of adjustments including what i talked about, the [speaker not understood] coming online in mission bay that the department is requesting in its budget. wanted to just highlight some capital and bond projects that we're currently working on. as you know, the [speaker not understood] earthquake safety emergency response bond, we're working closely hand in hand with department of public works.
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~ to carry out the administration of projects we're working on. that bond was passed in june of 2010. and it funds the new public safety building in mission beah long with some upgrades to the auxiliary water supply system, which is now under the jurisdiction of puc. we have transferred that over to budget cycles ago, as well as improvements to our firehouses. many of our firehouses will undergo some renovations improvements, paint, deferred maintenance, and we have a small group that will have specific scope projects undertaken. our first one, big project is at station 36 on polk and franklin where we will actually move firefighters, relocate them to other areas while that station undergoes significant renovation. and then the other three main projects would be followed up to 36, station 16 is supervisor farrell's district, greenwich. due to start in summer of '14.
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followed by target date of about a year completion followed by a complete take down in supervisor breed's district at turk and webster station 5 to begin in june of '15. followed by a new facility for our fire boat which is currently at pier 22-1/2, harrison, whether we rebuild there or there is a potential for us to be a part of the pier 30-32 project. more to follow on that. also wanted to highlight that just recently the end of last month, we opened fire station 1. we're really proud of that. it was a public private partnership. we worked closely with museum of modern art. basically they're like our property at third and howard. it is a property that we like, too, but we realize it would have cost us between 9 and 10 million just to fix the floor to be seismically sound for our members. that was very difficult for us to have to grasp as well as the tight working quarters there.
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so, museum of modern art decided they would like to acquire that property and in exchange purchase and build a new station for us which we recently, like i said, cut the ribbon on, became operational march 19th. and, so, that is something that we've also been involved in. so far that's worked very well. we're trying to be good neighbors to the neighbors down on folsom street. there's been a little concern about the increase in noise and sirenses in that area, but we're continuing to work with them on that. ~ and the last slide i have for you is just upgrades and an update on our aging equipment. we were delighted to be able to receive $3 million in grant funding for our self-contained breatheding apparatus replacement program. we had some equipment that was functional, but not as up to date as it should be. ~ breathing on june 2nd, 2011, we lost two firefighters. one of the things that came out of that report was that it would be a good decision to be
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able to move forward and fund self-contained breathing apparatus breathing equipment. so, we were delight today receive grant funding and those will be coming online very soon. we also received grant funding to the tune of 1.3 million for replacing outdated defibrillators that are basically a tool that we use to restart a person's heart if there isn't a certain rhythm to bring them back to life when they have absence of pulse and absence of respiration. so, that is also something we're delighted to be receiving. and then we're continuing to work with the mayor's office on our vehicle replacement. we're a bit behind in terms of what our fleet replacement program should be, but we're delighted to report that five ambulances will be on the streets very soon, new ambulances, as well as we've ordered 10 new fire engines. it's about one year to willed and get them on the streets. and we're working on four new aerial ladders. so, that concludes my report ~
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and i will be seeking to request reallocation from salaries over to overtime. >> thank you, chief hayes white. colleagues, do we have any questions for chief? supervisor breed. >> thank you. thank you so much for this information, chief. one other thing that i failed to mention was that clearly you remember when i was listening to those calls and also the numbers back me up on this, but there are a tremendous number of medical calls that come through the fire department. i think it's at about 70% of the call volume is from medical situations. i know there is a medic to follow procedure under the department which creates i think sometimes a bit of a challenge for the paramedic to try and deal with some of the emergencies after -- once there is a paramedic/firefighter on the scene and then there's an
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ambulance that comes to follow. i know that there have been cases where there have not been enough ambulances on the streets. now that we have five new ambulances coming online, will that be in addition to -- will there be others taken out of service? is there a plan to have more come online? and how would this help with that particular problem? >> a great question. and i would like to tell you we will be adding those to the street. at this point because we have at least five that are so dilapidated and, you know, over 200,000 miles on them, no shocks, very poor condition, we will be replacing those rigs that really need to go out of service. our goal, though, would be -- and we spent a lot of time on the new specifications. hopefully when this reimbursement money comes n we will reinvest and get more rigs and add them to the streets. i'm hopeful one or two of those five will be add to add, but i'm hearing there is at least five that should be removed from service.
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>> and just to put this into perspective, i mean just recently we dealt with the tragedy in boston and just the response and how -- san francisco has done an incredible job with the police and fire department in terms of responding to emergencies. but if we are faced with a situation, i mean, are we at a capacity that we can, you know, handle like a mass -- a significant mass, i guess, catastrophe here in san francisco? do we have the ability to address those kinds of things with the equipment we have now? >> so, i would say that on a daily basis, on a regular day here in san francisco, we're very well staffed and we'll take care of those, and get to the scene in 3 to 5 minutes. that kind of goes out the window when something happens similar to boston. i would like to say we absolutely would deploy as many
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resources we had if it was anything like boston. we would be supporting the fire and police department on that effort. the few casualties and massive amount of injuries, it taxes the system. so, we would be able to do the best we can in term of an automatic immediate response. we'd also partner with the private entities in terms of our ambulance care. and then we have mutual aid agreements as well. so, we're well versed on having to ring the bell, if you will, to get additional resources. but certainly a tragic ebit like what happened in boston would tax our resource he on a given day here in the city. but we have plans in place to be able to augment those resources. >> this is my last question. i know you were able to successfully hire a number of station 49 members which are pretty much all of the paramedics of all of the department or staff. is there a plan to bring on
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more at station 49 in general? >> yes. last year we were able to bring in through sort of the entry level, hp1 level emts. many of those emts have since promoted up to be paramedics. our goal is the amount of people we're bringing over from station 49, be they emts or paramedic, we cross train them as firefighters for suppression. we want to be able particularly since we want to meet the goals of the exclusive operating area, we want to bring in additional -- i it would say emt. one of the things we're able to do is provide initial promotion for those with paramedic training and promote them internally. we do plan on beefing up and maintaining, hopefully staffing up and beefing up the medical tier. ~ >> you're able to do that with your existing budget? >> that is apart of what we did in this current fiscal year. we brought in an additional 20 personnel. we're hoping to do the same in
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the next fiscal year. ~ >> thank you. >> supervisor mar. >> thank you. i was going to ask a question. i know that department of public works is starting to use the dpw stat. i know the police department has been using compstat. i'm wondering if in the next week if there is anyway to show numbers of calls, general day to day and how we're meeting those cole. calls. and i think as technology changes, responsiveness probably is improved and even just with major housing improvements like sprinklers in the s-r-os and other major improvements, it might reduce the number of calls to certain areas of town. ~ i know some stations like 34 and the outer richmond have a specific focus and are always needed for different needs around the ocean beach area. but just knowing some of that data would be helpful in understanding your budget. but i'm wondering will we get that information as the budget goes forward? >> certainly. and we'll have some of that information for you next week
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in terms of call volume, area of concentration, and then the guidelines by which we're mandated to provide responses both from the fire suppression side and the emergency medical response. >> thank you. >> we can have that for you next week and we'll follow-up with your office if there is anything specifically you'd like to see. >> thank you, chief. much appreciated. >> thank you. >> and at this point we'll open up to public comment for item number 1. anybody in the public wish to comment on item number 1, please step forward. all right. seeing none, public comment is closed. [gavel] >> thank you, chief. thank you to mark. we will be back with this in a few months. so, colleagues, can i take a motion to continue this item to the call of the chair? >> we can do that without opposition. [gavel] >> mr. clerk, can you please call item number 2? >> item number 2, hearing to receive an update on the police department's budget for fiscal year 2013-2014 and fiscal year 2014-2015. >> thanks very much. chief suhr, thank you for being here.
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>> absolutely. thank you for having us. with me, just like chief hayes white, there's no way i could do this myself. i have my cfo, waynn gannon and her team be karen we will shall, and then behind me i have deputy chief tomioka, [speaker not understood], loftus, and [speaker not understood] from our technology division. so, if maureen can fire up the first slide. we're going to give you a budget overview, sworn hiring plan update, recivilianization update if you recall last year, that was something then supervisor chiu put a lot of emphasis on. update on the public safety building, our technology projects, capital improvements, and finally probably where we have our greatest need is in our fleet replacement.

April 20, 2013 4:44pm-5:14pm PDT

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 7, San Francisco 5, Boston 4, Hayes 2, Lee 2, Suhr 2, Mr. Mark Corso 1, Meade 1, Karen 1, Callahan 1, Carl Merkins 1, Station 1, Puc 1, Ray Guzman 1, Mickey Callahan 1, Farrell 1, Webster 1, Cole 1, Loftus 1, Tomioka 1
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